12.10.2017

Rescue Ward sacrament talk

I was lucky enough to receive the sacred topic of how you and I can grow our testimonies of the Savior Jesus Christ. 

My sister in law Tiana and I had a girls night this week, which pretty much just consisted of her and i watching a movie on Netflix with a bowl of ice cream after her kids were asleep, but as we were deciding which one to watch we came across one I hadn't heard of called "The Case for Christ" that came out earlier this year. It is a true story about a young atheist journalist who, after his wife starts believing in God and attending a church, wants to prove to her with as much evidence that he can find, that Christianity is all a big hoax. He was told that everything could be debunked if he could disprove Jesus Christ really died and came back to life. I'll try not to spoil the movie too much but obviously the young man comes back with overwhelming historical evidence of the fact that the resurrection was indeed real.

Sometimes our faith in Christ comes like this. We are humble, (or forced to be humble sometimes happens too) and we really have the desire to know if Christ is real, and we fight and work until we know in our own way that He is! That's what the word *strive* means by the way, to fight! Our testimonies are something we all must earn in one way or another. 

A second way for some of us to gain our own testimony of The Savior is to believe first, and then prove it true by living the principles of the gospel and seeing what happens. That's how my brother Noah got his testimony. He tested everything out, lived christ's words for himself and was pleasantly not surprised but reassured that indeed everything was and is true. One of my favorite verses in the BOM is Mosiah 2:41 
  • And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
I love this scripture because it has proven true in my life, over and over again. We have the proof of the truth by our happiness (including the peace we can feel despite the inevitable hard times) and the lords spiritual and material blessings He gives us. 

Sometimes, for some of us, we haven't had one huge moment that makes us know hands down that Christ is real, but we get small and frequent reassurances that such is true by walking daily on Christ's path. That's how it was for me. Many times during the day and week I'll be blessed to feel the wonderful, loving, reassuring feeling that this all really is the truth. This happens always when, of course, I'm choosing proactively to experience something gospel or Christ centered. Simple as scripture study and prayer or church attendance. I had that feeling when I went with our family for the first time to the incredible Nativity production near the temple this week. I cried,  or tried hard not to cry as I felt powerfully again the truthfulness of the existence of Jesus Christ and of the reality of his mortal birth, life, and sacrifices here on earth. 

The ways we can gain our own testimonies of the savior are as vast as there are numbers of people. However, as we have been told many times: by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. My husband’s favorite poem goes like this : 

WHO AM I?
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half of the things you do you might as well turn over to me
and I will do them – quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed – you must be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done
and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.

I am the servant of all great people,
and alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.

I am not a machine though
I work with the precision of a machine
plus the intelligence of a person.
You may run me for profit or run me for ruin
it makes no difference to me.

Take me,
train me,
be firm with me, and
I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
WHO AM I?
 I AM HABIT!

Our daily habits can bring us closer to the savior or make us turn further from Him. We must be willing to make the harder way at first of closing to do the small things daily but they will become easier for us and we will broaden our capabilities. Whereas at first it may be hard for us to read a few verses of the scriptures every day, later on a few chapters a day will become easy and greatly desired. An occasional prayer every other night or so can become a morning, noon and night and even constant loving conversation with our father in heaven who we miss and who misses us.  

During weaker moments, I sometimes think that maybe I only*think* or *believe* that the church is true. Which is, in itself is perfectly fine, and wonderful as Elder Holland has said.  I also think rarely that maybe am just coerced to believe all this cuz it's mostly all I've  ever known. I remember during those times though, that I have gone astray and felt the lack of the Spirit's security and peace in my life. Thankfully, I recognized my loss, and with the help of understanding and loving leaders was blessed to repent and with that, invite the Spirit back into my life. When I think that I believe that Jesus Christ is real, and as I think about Him and what I've felt in the past when discussing His teachings or learning about Him, I then realize that it isn't all that uncomfortable for me to say that I know He is real. Even now I can feel the Spirit telling me the truth of those words. Joseph smith and Sidney Rigdon said it best in Doctrine and Covenants 76:22-24
  • And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
  • 23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father--
  • 24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.
I am aware that the journey of testimony gaining and testimony growing is and has been easier for some people than it is or has been for others. That doesn't mean that if it as easier for you that you're more special or favored of the Lord, not by a long shot. I know that people that have had to work hard and struggle a lot to even have a belief that Jesus Christ is the Savior are blessed with a closeness with him that if we never really question we won't attain until we ourselves work for it. If we keep in our memory the ways that the Lord helped us find Him, we will always be able to choose His path and gospel when the daily need arises. 


In the name of Jesus Christ Amen 🙏🏻 

11.24.2017

Six months married!

I didn’t ever update this blog when I got married, so here are some pictures of my handsome man, Reed C Van Leuven and I who were married May 31, 2017!














7.29.2016

Talk on the Sacrament on July 17th 2016:
I hope I don't break the spirit of the meeting by saying this but I know that churches are Pokemon gyms so I hope you'll let your Pokemon take a water break and listen, hopefully the spirit will get a chance to teach you something he wants you to know.

Some of my earliest memories of the Sacrament are those of my mother leaning over and whispering in my little ear after she gave me the bread or water, quietly explaining what we were doing. I remember also being impressed as to the sacrament's importance from a very young age because I would sometimes try to talk to my mom during the ordinance but she would ignore me and keep her head bowed and eyes closed. When she would whisper to me I remember that she would say things like "right now we are doing something very special Eliza. It's called the Sacrament. We must be very still and quiet when we do this. When we hear the young men pray over the bread and water we must listen very carefully. We must think about Jesus and say prayers in our hearts thanking our father in heaven for sending Him to us so that we can have a chance at going back home to Him. We must say we are sorry to Heavenly Father for the things we did wrong or that could have done better at during the week. We must think about Jesus Christ and promise him that because we love him we will always remember him and keep his commandments so we can have His spirit to be with us. "

I'll always be thankful for my parents for instilling in my little young heart a love for the Savior and His atoning sacrifice that's lasted until today. The sacrament for me has become a time of reflection and holiness that I look forward to and prepare for during the week. I know that every week there are many things I need to ask forgiveness for and change, and knowing Christ knows how I feel through it all is an incredible blessing and strength to me. Simply having the priceless gift of being able to participate in the sacrament at all humbles and fills me with joy and hope.

As the world gets ever more loud, scary and irreverent, we are blessed while young single adults to have this ward where it is a little bit extra quiet during the ordinance of the sacrament. It is a perfect (and probably one of the few) opportunities we have during the week to take advantage of stillness, peace, and reverence to focus solely on Christ and the sacrifice he offered for us. They taught us in primary that being reverent is sitting quietly, and now for us it is not only sitting quietly but also being reverent in our minds and hearts. By having our phones turned off (or to the scriptures) and willingly giving Christ some of our time that he greatly deserves, in the end is for our own benefit.

In last October's general conference Elder Costa emphasized an important aspect of the sacrament. He said "The sacrament is a time for Heavenly Father to teach us about the Atonement of His Beloved Son--our Savior, Jesus Christ--and for us to receive revelation about it. It is a time to “knock, and it shall be opened unto you,” to request and to receive this knowledge. It is time for us to reverently ask God for this knowledge. And if we do, I have no doubt that we will receive this knowledge, which will bless our lives beyond measure." While pondering the meaning of the sacrament Elder Costa also said "My soul was filled by an overwhelming desire to be a better person. In repentance and sorrow, I fervently wished to be able to dry and avoid the spilling of at least a few drops of His blood shed in Gethsemane."

 I want to read kind of a big chunk from 3rd nephi 18 and discuss what we can learn from the Savior about the sacrament. You're welcome to read along starting in verse 1:

1And it came to pass that Jesus commanded his disciples that they should bring forth some bread and wine unto him. Of course we now use water :)

2 And while they were gone for bread and wine, he commanded the multitude that they should sit themselves down upon the earth.

3 And when the disciples had come with bread and wine, he took of the bread and brake and blessed it; and he gave unto the disciples and commanded that they should eat.

4 And when they had eaten and were filled, he commanded that they should give unto the multitude.

5 And when the multitude had eaten and were filled, he said unto the disciples: Behold there shall one be ordained among you, and to him will I give power that he shall break bread and bless it and give it unto the people of my church, unto all those who shall believe and be baptized in my name.

6 And this shall ye always observe to do, even as I have done, even as I have broken bread and blessed it and given it unto you.

7 And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.

8 And it came to pass that when he said these words, he commanded his disciples that they should take of the wine of the cup and drink of it, and that they should also give unto the multitude that they might drink of it.

9 And it came to pass that they did so, and did drink of it and were filled; and they gave unto the multitude, and they did drink, and they were filled.

10 And when the disciples had done this, Jesus said unto them: Blessed are ye for this thing which ye have done, for this is fulfilling my commandments, and this doth witness unto the Father that ye are willing to do that which I have commanded you.

11 And this shall ye always do to those who repent and are baptized in my name; and ye shall do it in remembrance of my blood, which I have shed for you, that ye may witness unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.

I think it's very special and important to read Christ's words directly to know what He originally taught about the sacrament. He wants us to have the blessing of having his spirit with us, and showing him by our taking the sacrament that we are willing to and are going to keep his commandments.

In my favorite hymn, reverently and meekly now, verse two speaks of the sacrament in a beautiful way.


In this bread now blest for thee,

Emblem of my body see;

In this water or this wine,

Emblem of my blood divine.

Oh, remember what was done

That the sinner might be won.

On the cross of Calvary

I have suffered death for thee.


I know the sacrament is so important for us to participate in and to be worthy of as we need it to renew our baptismal covenants. We aren't rebaptized each week but by taking the sacrament that's essentially what we are doing.

Verse four of that same hymn kind of reminds me of why we take the sacrament and live all of the gospel at all: it says:

At the throne I intercede;

For thee ever do I plead.

I have loved thee as thy friend,

With a love that cannot end.

Be obedient, I implore,

Prayerful, watchful evermore,

And be constant unto me,

That thy Savior I may be.


I love the savior and his example and I hope some day to truly comprehend and appreciate everything that the lord did for me and all of us. I love his gospel and for the opportunity to be clean again every week and to never have any sins that are more than a week old.
I  say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.



9.22.2015

Thoughts on some New Testament stories

So this was a simple weekly assignment we have for our Pearl of Great Price class where we are asked to write a 600 word paper about our feelings about what we read during the week. I liked it so I thought I'd put it up here. (Note: I am not nor ever will be an English major so don't judge my writing skills :) 


Thought Paper            September 22, 2015             Eliza Shumway   Word Count: 664
               
                In my studying of the scriptures over this last week I’ve been reading in a few different places throughout the standard works. I’ve studied out of the book of Luke in the New Testament, Jacob through Mosiah in the Book of Mormon and the book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. In this paper I will discuss my feelings about my readings in the New Testament.
Reading and studying the scriptures daily has become something necessary for me to do first thing in the morning – along with sincere prayer - and throughout the day so that I am able to do happily everything else I need to do in my busy life. I have found that without proper scripture study and prayer in the morning, I am less motivated and excited about doing school work and anything else. My productive day doesn’t start until my scripture reading and prayer have been done properly.  
                Luke shares of many of Christ’s miracles He performed, the parables He told, and the lessons He taught. Among many favorite scriptures during this week’s reading of chapters 7 through 9, 21 and 22 are the parable of the sower and healing the woman with the issue of blood in chapter 8.
                The Parable of the Sower has always been of special interest and importance to me. On my mission (to Portugal!) I would think about this parable a lot while evaluating the progress of my investigators and recent converts. I would pray that they would be ‘falling on good earth’ and that their testimonies would grow and develop over time; that they wouldn’t be offended and leave the church quickly or not put God first (the seed falling on stony ground or among thorns). This week in church however, the speaker in Sacrament Meeting talked about this parable. He helped me realize that not only does this parable apply to recent converts but of course applies to me, and those of us who have been in the church for a long time, there are no time limits on when those seeds are being planted- or when we are receiving the words of God. I always need to be on my look out to make sure that as I am receiving the word of God that it is being planted on good ground, taking care that I am not offended or putting anything in more importance than Heavenly Father and Christ.
                Christ’s healing of the woman with the ‘issue of blood’ is always a tear-jerker for me because of what He said to her (in verse 46) – “Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” The word ‘virtue’ comes from the word virtus, meaning power. Normally associated in the church with a young man or usually a young woman’s righteous moral character, Christ using this word as a synonym for power is very meaningful to me. Even though Christ probably meant it to mostly exclusively mean “power”, the view of virtue meaning chastity to me all becomes the same thing: virtue is power and is chastity.  

                I truly love reading about what the Savior did in his daily life during his earthly ministry. Reading the New Testament, especially the passages before his Crucifixion and Resurrection, where we get to know Him almost personally is where I like to go to read and ponder when I feel like I miss Him. In the Portuguese language there is a word that better fits this emotion I feel when I miss Him: that word is saudade. Even though most of us have never met Him personally in this life, me included, saudade is what I feel which to me is the longing for the feeling of comfort that His physical presence surely brings. So, for me, reading in the four gospels in the New Testament helps me feel closer to Him when I’m feeling that saudade.

8.19.2015

Learning Lessons

I've been learning how to be in better control over my money. I'm using a cool budgeting site made by Dave Ramsey (I'm also reading his Total Money Makeover book which is awesome) called everydollar.com. I'm more content in my life right now, and it's making a difference with my spending. I also leave my debit card at home which helps most :) I hardly eat out anymore, I have plenty of clothes (I've spent hundreds of dollars at American Eagle Outfitter's -clearance- since being home from my mission...) and I'm suddenly super excited about saving the most money possible. I wish I had had this change of heart many months ago! One day I got on my bank account and added up the amount of money I'd spent at each store that was listed on there... and I wasn't happy with what I'd done with it all.. So many little purchases (mostly food and AEO silly me) added up to SO much and I had saved hardly any of it compared to what I had earned.  So needless to say I'm being a lot more careful, saving 50%, usually more, of my paycheck and being happy with what I already have. And I've sold a lot of my too-many clothes to Plato's Closet.

I've loved serving at the Timpanogos Temple as an ordinance worker! I went through the training process really slowly (I started working in March and even though all of May it was closed I just barely finished my training) but now I'm fully trained on everything and I can substitute for people on other days (mostly just Saturdays) I've been feeling the peace from the Holy Ghost so much more in my life. I also have been listening to the scriptures on my gospel library app on and off all day as work lets me. I finished the last few chapters of Alma and then through til the end of the Book of Mormon in two days from listening and reading along when I could. I'm starting a Pearl of Great Price class once I get up to BYU-Idaho (less than a month away!! SO EXCITED) so I started listening to and reading along to that today and I'm already in the middle of the book of Abraham. I love how much of the temple video comes from the Pearl of Great Price! So wonderful. :) I love feeling the Spirit this much in my life! I have tried to get rid of things that waste my time or that are light-minded (the app called Vine was a bad time consumer for me so I got rid of that). I also haven't spent so much time listening to the news... which I do feel is important to do occasionally but I've become better (and happier) already by shifting my focus to the scriptures.


8.06.2015

Tuning into God

This is such a wonderful video. I guess I haven't seen it before because it is a little bit older.
I know that the Spirit is real. He has been with me every day of my life, even though many times I could not or would not hear Him. He comforts me when I make the choice to slow down, calm down, and listen to Him. Believing that all of this is real is a choice. I've learned that it's all so easy. We choose to either believe in God, or we can choose to not believe in God. Whichever choice we make won't change the fact that He is there. It only changes us.

8.05.2015

Being Home

Hey friends!
Well this is my first post on here since being back from my mission, about nine months or so. Haven't even really visited this blog except briefly a few times. Turns out I had like 21 page views from people in Russia last week though... haha what.
It's been great to live at home with my awesome family for these few months. I did one online class through BYU-Idaho and finished my associates degree in science. I'm heading back up there to do two more years of school then I should be done with my degree in Microbiology. I'm super excited!!
I've learned a lot in the last few months since being back from Portugal. I have loved living with my family constantly laughing with them. I'm learning how hard it is to keep up the missionary habits of sincere and dedicated scripture study and prayer and exercise, but I'm working on bringing those habits back and having the Spirit of the Lord be more present and powerful in my life. That's my number one goal right now.
I've learned a lot about relationships with others. I've met a lot of wonderful people and have grown to love and appreciate them. Even though none of my relationships with any one young man have worked out yet, (because I'm not married or engaged obviously) I've learned a lot from each one and am thankful for them. The thing that's been the hardest for me, I think, is growing to really like someone and becoming best friends with them, but knowing it's not going to progress to marriage and having to end the relationship.. uuug. It's frustrating but hopefully someday something will work out to where we won't have to break up forever :)
I love listening to amazing people on the radio like Glenn Beck and his co-hosts, Rush Limbaugh and Dave Ramsey. I admire their bravery in standing up for what's right even though it's not easy.
The world is literally going insane. I get downhearted and sad a lot when I see what's going on in the media and what's happening to us as Americans and people all over the world.  So far the only thing that makes me feel better is making sure I make time for scripture study in the morning and night and prayer and listening to uplifting music... I like to stay informed with what's happening in the world but it can get pretty depressing, but a balance of God's word with the 'worldly' words helps me stay happy and hopeful. I'm so thankful that I have the gospel to guide, strengthen and comfort me now and throughout my life. It's just up to me to live and share it.

anyway here are some pictures to update this blog a little:

Noah's doing well in Mozambique, he gets home in October!!

My three very best friends got married, one while I was on my mission and the other two in the last month or week:
Maddison

and her sister McCall :)

and Summer!  

Thanks for reading, hope to be better at updating this :)


11.03.2014

To Everyone I Love :)

Killer week but I forgot my planner at home somehow so I only remember a few of the awesome things that happened this week:

Pedro, our recent convert, passed the sacrament! AH! Cry!

Paulo came to church and felt good! He said everyone was so nice. #normalobvs :)

Felt the spirit SO strong during role-plays in zone meeting with two cute new sister missionaries! I was their investigator, Cristina, and these girls helped her (me) really gain (confirm) her (my) own personal testimony. They are already incredible missionaries in their 4th and 2nd transfers :)

Sis Azevedo and I gave some trainings in zone meetings about Power Hour, one hour of weekly planning dedicated to helping investigators get to church through daily contact. Then we did it in our own real weekly planning. President Fluckiger is inspired! 


I want to show my love for the Lord by sacrificing and reaching out of my comfort zone to help people around me. I hope I´ve become who He wants me to be and learned what He would have had me learned on my mission but now I know I can continue to progress for the rest of my life. 

See you in a little over a week. I´ll probably get an email out next week too. Love you :)

Sister Shumway




10.27.2014

foto fotos

sister Azevedo killin it


My reaction when Elder Quentin L Cook is coming to our Stake the week after i go home:

Sickies

Before i read any of my emails or replies to last weeks email let me just clarify something i said wrong in last week´s letter: ew barf that 41 year old man is NOT disgustingly attractive but it´s just disgusting that he is attractive at all haha (sis azevedo and brundage agreed with me okay) and also the only reason why he directed his conversation to me at first was because i have been here 12 weeks longer than sis Azevedo. 

okay now that i got that out of the way 

YAY! sis A doesn´t have a parasite! we were worried about that monday, tuesday and wednesday until we got a renewal of a prescription for her and then she felt better. But then on Friday i had a major coming-off-a-coca-cola addiction migrane and couldn´t think straight. i´m fine now. haha. never drinking coke on a regular basis ever again.

Good news! I bought a barbie watch today for 3€. it´s fab for life. 

All of my future home´s dishes will HAVE OF NECESSITY be plastic. I broke 3 glass cups, 1 porcelin mug and 1 glass bowl in the last 2 weeks. #wrecklessfodayzz i also probably melted a pan handle. probably.

I READ THE WHOLE BOOK OF ALMA IN A WEEK. bask in my glory. (gonna finish the BOM in two weeks.)

AH the glorious time change. loved it. also couldn´t sleep in darn it.

MIRACLES!! this week our ward had a RELAMPAGO trip to the temple {lightning} and i hit in the suitcase of our ward mission leader. um no but two of the 5 people sis B and i baptized the last two transfers WENT AND DID BAPTISMS AND LOVED it and they bore their testimonies in church the day after. AWESOME Spirit presence i couldn´t handle it. 

I hope that in the Spirit world or celestial kindom or where ever that there will be less people coming up to me saying "i was right there! why didn´t you talk to me! You had the wonderful truth of the gospel and you didn´t say anything!" and more people that will say "Thanks for at least trying to stop and talk to me, sorry for thinking you were Jehova´s witness" haha or something to that effect... 

EPIPHANY :::::: I WILL BE A BIOLOGY TEACHER or at least do Bio Education as a major. in case my husband dies or something i can be a teacher. #validworry Now i know what i want to do!!! The spirit told me the second to last week of my mission! YAY! now i´m excited to go back to school! i was kinda always stressed about Biotech and i think i will still go into that someday but for now i´ll not stress about chem 106 and just work on the basics.

Public transport. Buses and Metros are actually disguised rollar coasters.  life is funner this way. 

Walking down the street one day. Guy bows to us. not normal but awesome. Normal: People tell us we are beautiful all the time. gonna miss that hah. 

Paulo and Carlos update: they loved and probably cried at the video Graças a Ele (because of Him)
 https://www.lds.org/youth/video/because-of-him?lang=por (sorry to lazy to look for it in English) 

Surprise mission council tomorrow in Lisbon. We had it planned for the last week of the transfer and found out last night that it is This tuesday not next and we had to call our two sisters in the cities of Gaia and Braga and switch around when we are doing their divisions. Ew. I hated that when my STLs did that to me. Sorry loves. 

Heart attack during comp study. Sister A had given me a werther´s original and i was sucking on it/ talking and out of the blue totally inhaled it. my life flashed before my eyes. #surviver

Our awesome District Leader gave Sis A and I blessings cuz we were little sickies. He was so inspired and told me and us lots of things we were needing to hear. Priesthood power is sooooo real and personal. Thankful!!


Sister Eliza Ann Shumway



10.20.2014

Onward Christian Soldiers

Definitely felt all of your prayers this week! Thank you for them! I had a great week! 

We had lots of member and investigator meals this week! One investigator meal was with Carlos (who we´d appreciate if you would pray for, that he can be humble and read the BOM and get the right answer in his prayers and know that he should get baptized. Thanks ;) and his wife Elisabete and 11 year old daughter Inês. We had whole shrimp for the appetizer, you got to rip the head and shell off and then dip it in mayonaise and/or Whiskey Cocktail sause. We kept with the mayo. Then after i got pretty full on shrimp i realized my mistake in thinking that was all when they brought out a huge dish of Bacalhau and puré which was delishious but i´m sure Heavenly Father helped me have enough room for it and also the creme brulé at the end. (I´m sure i ´m spelling all of this wrong, don´t worry. Every word in english comes up with a red squigily line under it. )

When we were all stuffed silly we talked about Paulo, Carlos´ not-as-wayward-as-two-weeks-ago brother, who recently had a spiritual awakening. This Saturday we walked into Carlos and Paulo´s store when to our horror, Carlos steps into another room and we were left semi-alone (it´s a store) with Paulo, a single, 41 year old very worldly man that looks at ME and says he wants to talk to me. "Uh oh. This will make for a good email home, and i hope i don´t know what he´s about to say" runs through my mind. I say "yes, you can talk to US" squishing myself to Sister Azevedo´s side. Then the floodgates open. He starts shaking and crying, this hugely buff and kinda disgustingly attractive man starts bawling in the store. 

He goes on to tell us how when he first met us all he wanted was to win the Euro-milhões (lottery), luxuria and a ferrari but the times we would come in to speak to Carlos he would overhear sometimes (he would not want to listen at the time of course, yes we did invite him) and how he was a changed man because of us sisters and what he has felt. Of course we invited him to be baptized on the spot, but unfortunately his "religious organization independent" brother (carlos, who is totally awesome besides that) had already gotten his "there are lots of ways to get to Christ" had already gotten in his head so we still have some more work to do. We read Alma 32:27-28 to him that talks about the word being planted in your heart and how it gives you a swelling in your breast an he totally started crying, sobbing and shaking again. WHoah. 

Carlos confirmed his change of heart at their house when we had dinner with them, how he was such an unresponsible teen-ager his whole 41 years but now he will cry on his shoulder and ask him for advice, kiss his mom, get home on time for dinner with the family etc etc... and Paulo says it´s because of our "positive energy" but we corrected him telling him it was the Holy Ghost and that he needed to repent an be baptized but we could only get him to commit to coming to church NEXT week... so i´m hoping we can direct all of this spiritual energy into the true church and not just into searching for random information about reencarnation or Jesus or whatever on the internet and sitting in the park enjoying the breeze and little birds that he said is happening right now. 

At another appointment with a random guy we found in our Area book, Fernando taught me a lot about myself. I didn´t mean to but he got me pretty mad when he didn´t want to hear what we had to say (we had been on a 45 min bus ride to get to his house to tell me i don´t have love in me haha darn it) and my comp also told me she had never seen me so mad. I was just mad that i could let myself get so mad honestly. But i´ve been studying charity and repenting this week so hopefully i´m not a lost cause. 

Christmas has already started here in Portugal! They´ve got some little halloween things (what it was just halloween last year! and i was in the Açores!) but mostly it´s all Christmas preparations now. Goodness! I kinda love the idea of having Christmas spirit everywhere for longer than just November 25th to December 25th like we do there. 

Enjoy this song, it was my theme song for the week. 

Please write me back!! Tell me about your life!! 

Sis Shumway